"It would be awful to make it public." Part of an official White House transcript, this comment made by FDR staffer, Stephen Gibbons, pertained to information
the White House knew about Amelia Earhart's 1937 world flight outcome the general public remained unaware of. The statement was
recorded nine months after Amelia was said to have disappeared without a trace. The FDR administration's refusal
to disclose what it knew
left Amelia classified as 'a missing person' until she was
declared "dead in absentia" in January of 1939, at which point the 'missing person case' of Amelia Earhart was closed.
See more about what the White House withheld about Amelia further down.
"Numerous investigations foundered on
official silence in Washington leaving the fate of Amelia Earhart an everlasting mystery." Part of aviation
historians, Marilyn Bender and Selig Altschul's evaluation of Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance. From their 1982 book, The
In 1997, fifteen years after Bender and Altschul's astute
observation was made, Tod Swindell's collaborative study that he embarked on with investigator, Joseph A. Gervais,
and Amelia Earhart authors, Randall Brink and Rollin Reineck, commenced with a different kind of in-depth analysis of Amelia
Earhart's 1937 'disappearance' and subsequent 'missing person' case.
Senator Hiram Bingham
& Amelia Earhart
Amelia & the post-war only Irene
The post-World War Two only
Irene Craigmile in 1977. Notice her
proud stature, air of self importance,
and prominently displayed pilot wings.
She was identified nowhere as Irene
Craigmile prior to the end of the war,
because she had previously been
known as, Amelia Earhart.
How the reality of Amelia Earhart's post-war
existence as 'Irene' initially surfaced before it was swiftly shouted down:
In 1965, a retired USAF Major met the woman above at
a New York gathering of well known pilots from the golden age of aviation. He thought she looked hauntingly familiar to
him and found the air of importance she commanded curious--because he'd never heard of her before--so
he decided to look into her past. He astonished himself when he figured out who she used to be. Except the woman became
very angry when he publicly asserted his realization. She dogmatically decried it as well, leaving the retired air force major to become a subject of ridicule. He was still certain
he was correct, though, and he lived the remainder of his days professing so to his dying day. The USAF Major's name was
Joseph A. Gervais, (1924-2005) a decorated pilot who had served in World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam. It was not until the
results of a new millennium forensic comparison study began to be released that people finally began to understand
the veracity of what Joseph A. Gervais had long known about Amelia Earhart.
Amelia Earhart, age 39 in 1937
Amelia & post-WWII Irene
Post-WWII only Irene, 1965
Photo taken by Joseph A. Gervais
Amelia's Sister, Muriel's Viewpoint
and her Mother, Amy Otis Earhart's Viewpoint
Above left: Amelia's sister, Muriel Earhart Morrissey.
Above right: The former Amelia Earhart living as 'Irene' in 1965.
Amazingly enough, Grace
'Muriel' Earhart Morrissey, Amelia's only sibling, actually did know her older sister as 'Irene' in her later life years.
Of course, after the book, Amelia Earhart Lives outed Amelia's post-war alias of 'Irene' in 1970,
as well refused to admit who her later life friend, Irene, used to be.
In 1982, when pressed by a reporter about it, Muriel admitted,
"of course I know Irene," adding how they were both, 'Zonta organization sisters.' [Note: While Amelia Earhart was a famous Zonta member in the 1930s, the original
Irene Craigmile never belonged to the Zontas, a prominent organization for 'professional career women.' The original
Irene Craigmile never had a profession, let alone a 'career' before she died prior to the start of World War Two.]
Muriel vocally deplored the
controversy that arose over her sister's post-war alias and was quick to admonish anyone who brought it up.
anyone who claimed her later-life friend, Irene, resembled her missing sister, Muriel typically responded
by saying the suggestion was "ridiculous," and she was sure to add, "there is practically no physical resemblance"
between the two.
The comparison analysis, the first one ever done that commenced after Muriel's passing, proved otherwise.
As well, in the above photo of Muriel, it is easy to see that she herself physically resembled her later life friend, Irene,
in what could be described as a sisterly looking way.
Not to leave out, the original Irene Craigmile looked nothing like the post-war
only Irene Craigmile.
Muriel died in 1998, at the age of 98. Her
daughter, Amy, who was five years old when her Aunt Amelia went missing, has always adhered to the same disposition her mother
maintained. That is, 'Amelia went missing in 1937 and she was never seen again.'
Amelia's mother, Amy Otis Earhart,
was never shy about voicing her opinion when it came to what she believed happened to her daughter. She was certain Amelia
ended up being sequestered by Japan and for at least awhile she maintained Amelia was still alive during the war years. (Note
the articles beneath the following picture.) Amy Otis Earhart died in 1962, eight years before the controversy over post-war
only Irene Craigmile Bolam's true identity made national news.
Above: Amelia Earhart's family in a March of 1937 publicity
photo, a few months before Amelia went missing. Left to right are Amelia's sister, Muriel; her niece, Amy; her mother, Amy
Otis Earhart; and her nephew, David. Amelia's father, Edwin, who her mother had separated from in 1924, died in 1929.
An article from 1947, two years after World War Two ended, relays how Amelia's mother, Amy Otis Earhart, no longer believed
her daughter, Amelia, was still alive. During the war years she had maintained that her daughter, Amelia, was alive and being
held by Japan. Above right, another article from 1949 describes Amy Otis Earhart's assertion that her daughter, Amelia
'died' in Japan during the war years.
Of further note, Amelia's well-known pilot friend from the 1930s, Viola Gentry, had
also maintained that Amelia was alive in Japan's care during the war years, yet after the war ended, Viola as well offered
that Amelia 'likely died' while in Japan's custody. This is because Viola Gentry, (who also knew Amelia as 'Irene' in her
later life years) along with Amelia's sister, Muriel, and no doubt, Amy Otis Earhart as well, were made aware that Amelia
had survived the duration of the war--and for the sake of her future privacy, and to spare the U.S. and Japan the embarassment of having
to admit deception from both sides about it, Amelia willingly agreed to be further known as 'Irene Craigmile' after the war.
All who who knew about this recognized how Amelia's post-war survival and name change to 'Irene' was something the general
public was never supposed to know.
Curiously, Amy Otis Earhart had attended
the 1949 'Tokyo Rose' trial of Iva Toguri on a daily basis. She was aware it had been believed, at least in some military
channels, that Amelia's war time detainment had inspired Japan to coyly invent its 'Tokyo Rose' broadcasts in an effort to confuse U.S. soldiers in the Pacific theater--by making them wonder if
the detained Amelia Earhart had been coerced to broadcast as 'Tokyo Rose.' Former U.S. soldiers who testified in the Tokyo
Rose trial offered that when Tokyo Rose signed off she did so by saying, "This is Tokyo Rose, good night, and try and
sleep if you can." One outright testified that he believed the voice of Tokyo Rose that he heard sounded "just like
Iva Toguri's broadcast name had been 'Orphan Ann' not 'Tokyo Rose.' After her trial
ended, the FBI filed an 'official report' stating there never was a radio broadcaster who called
herself 'Tokyo Rose', rather, that the name had been a war-time G.I. invention.
Iva Toguri was a UCLA
educated American citizen. While visiting some of her family she found herself stuck in Japan after the Pearl Harbor attack. She
spent the duration of the war there, during which time she claimed she was all but 'forced' to deliver broadcasts because
of her ability to speak good English. After VJ Day she was offered $2000 by two American reporters to identify herself as
the elusive Tokyo Rose. She agreed to do so, even though she never went by that name when she delivered her radio broadcasts.
testified she never received the money that was promised her.
An unsympathetic jury
convicted Iva of treason, although she would always maintain her innocence. As his last official act, President Ford finally
pardoned Iva in 1975.
1970: The Irene-Amelia
Below details how the story of how the Irene-Amelia controversy
first surfaced in 1970, before the former Amelia Earhart strongly dismissed it out of hand. Contrary to popular belief, the
Irene-Amelia identity controversy was never settled, rather, it just faded from view.
Above, when the story first broke in November of 1970, it caught
Irene (the former 'AE') off guard. She had newly assumed the role of President of the Advertising Division of Radio Luxembourg
in Europe, a mantle handed down to her by her late husband, Englishman Guy Bolam, who died earlier that year. After the war
she had worked on executive levels in the New York banking industry until she married Guy in 1958. (Amelia had been known
as a meticulous manager of her own personal and business finances.) The new book, Amelia Earhart Lives by Joe Klaas,
that was inspired by the investigative research of Joseph A. Gervais, accurately pegged the post-war only Irene for who she
used to be, except it was published without her endorsement or cooperation causing a problem to quickly become evident to
her. In no way was she about to go back to being the famous Amelia Earhart again, so she hired high-powered attorney,
Benedict Ginsbergh, who had once been part of Robert F. Kennedy's legal team, to help her shut it all down.
As mentioned, the former Amelia Earhart, living as 'Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam' in November of 1970, was caught off guard
when the book, Amelia Earhart Lives was published. She saw no choice but to publicly decry the book and to flat-out deny who she used to be in the process.
So she waged a defamation lawsuit after her press conference, that dragged on for five years. While she cited some inaccurate
statements in the book she felt were damaging to her reputation, she never proved that she was not the former
Amelia Earhart, and eventually settled with Joseph A. Gervais by way of exchanging ten dollars of consideration with him.
Publisher McGraw-Hill paid her $60,000 for the inaccurate statements contained in the book, including one that implied she
was a potential bigamist and another that suggested she was a possible traitor to her country. Below, in late
July of 1974, obscured by the Watergate scandal and President Nixon's resignation that took place two weeks later, few seemed
to noticed that the four-year-old by then assertion stating Mrs. Bolam was the former Amelia Earhart--was being referred to as, "still
up in the air." Today, thanks to proper historification and a long overdue forensic comparison analysis, it is obvious
anymore that Amelia survived her 1937 disappearance and went on to become known as "Irene Craigmile," and then "Irene
Bolam" after she married Guy Bolam of England in 1958.
Bill Prymak, former president
of the 'Amelia Earhart Society'
Tod Swindell and
Joseph A. Gervais
2004, Bill Prymak, the 1989 founding president of the Amelia Earhart Society,
referred to retired USAF Major Joseph A. Gervais as, "A World War Two flying hero who is recognized as the world's leading
authority regarding the subject of Amelia Earhart's disappearance."
on to learn about the 1960s-to-1980s investigative research of Joseph A. Gervais--and what his decade-long collaboration with
The Swindell Study determined and revealed about it.
"After watching some video and reviewing the manuscript of Tod
Swindell, I think Joe Gervais was right." Stateside New Zealand Journalist, Rosalea Barker, agreeing
with the findings of the Gervais-Swindell collaboration.
Prymak's comment about Joseph A. Gervais may beg one to wonder why Gervais is hardly recalled today(?) For according to Prymak
and most all other Earhart aficionados, it was Joseph A. Gervais who examined the circumstances surrounding Amelia
Earhart's 'disappearance' and 'missing person case' more comprehensively than anyone else ever did.
The 1997-2017 Swindell Study learned the answer: In 1970, without fully realizing what the fallout
of it would be, Joseph A. Gervais exposed a concealed, high-level truth about Amelia Earhart he discovered in 1965; that Amelia
had quietly survived after she went missing in 1937, and in time ended up changing her name.
Except, no one
was ever supposed to know this.
While the discovery Gervais made exists today as an easy
to observe reality, it was categorically rejected after he tried to go public with it those years ago, and Joseph
A. Gervais was shunned (for lack of a better word) by official U.S. historians as well--and this is why few people
recall him today.
The Swindell Study managed to present an objective, realistic look
at the hushed, truthful discovery Joseph A. Gervais made those years ago--and by combining decades of in-depth investigative
research with new technology, it delivered the reality of it in no uncertain terms.
Many who are reading this
right now are shaking their heads and saying to themselves:
"Not true, Amelia died
when she went down in the ocean." Or... "What about that desert island Amelia was said to have died on?"
Except, did Amelia die as a result of her plane going down in the ocean?
Did she die on a desert island?
It's worth noting how no real evidence of either of these
things happening to Amelia Earhart ever existed.
In the meantime, over the years scores of people who lived in the
region Amelia went missing in--or who visited it at some point--relayed a different story. Their number included U.S. soldiers
and officers who served in the Pacific theater during World War Two. What they commonly described about Amelia's actual fate
was that she did not die by way of crashing her plane into the ocean--nor did she die after suffering as a castaway on a desert
Rather, they expressed how within days after Amelia was declared 'missing' her rescue had quietly taken
place during the July-1937 onset of the Sino-Japanese War.
Above, a Republic of the Marshall Islands 50th anniversary commemorative
stamp (issued in 1987) showing the rescue of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan--and the retrieval of Amelia's
Lockheed Electra from a land spit in the far lower Marshall Islands.
2002 the Associated Press ran a story that featured the Marshall Islands Ambassador to the United Nations' expressed
opinion about the true fate of Amelia Earhart. Ambassador Capelle mentioned how ever since the World War Two era it had remained
"common knowledge" in his country that Amelia ended up there in 1937. Few people noticed the article or seemed to
care much about it if they did. A new tabloid-like story had recently surfaced at the time--that began dominating Earhart mystery
headlines. It suggested Amelia had made it to a barren
island far south of the equator and died there, leaving her remains to be consumed by giant crabs.
Inauthentic as they may
be, false platitudes akin to the the macabre desert island story always managed to spark more public interest when
it came to ideas that attempted to account for Amelia Earhart's actual fate. At the same time, substantiated conveyances, such as Ambassador Capelle's, never received much attention.
It is worth noting hoa Ambassador Capelle's understanding of Amelia's flight ending
was based on firm historical roots. For instance, beyond
it being recognized as 'common knowledge' among the Marshallese people that Amelia ended up there, in 1965, Admiral Chester
Nimitz, the commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet during World War Two who was put in charge of the Marshall Islands after the
U.S. occupied it in 1944, outright admitted to CBS radio journalist, Fred Goerner, that it had quietly been, "known and
documented in Washington" that Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan, "went down in the Marshall Islands and were
picked up there by Japan."
Here's another example substantiated years after it first surfaced
above article appeared in a May 25, 1938 issue of Pacific Islands Monthly magazine. The credited writer was Rev. Carl Heine
of the Marshall Islands. Rev. Heine died early on during the World War Two conflict. Attorney John Heine, a distant relative
early 1960s Marshall Islands diplomat, (Heine being a common surname in the Marshalls; the current Marshall
Islands President is Hilda Heine) was unaware of the article when he described to author, Randall Brink, how in 1937, he and
his brother, Dwight, had helped off-load Amelia's wing-damaged plane from a Japanese Naval ship at Taroa Island in the Marshalls,
while understanding that the plane's pilots, "a man and a woman" remained on board the ship at the time. It so happens
Taroa is situated fairly adjacent to Maloelap Atoll.
had it that Amelia was billeted at Maloelap for awhile before she was transferred to Saipan, and then later to Japan itself.
[Within that mix, a false rumor later arose saying Amelia had been executed by Japan on Saipan--supposedly for spying on its
It is worth noting as well, at the time of the date on the letter, November of 1937, Amelia's office
at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, where the unclaimed letter was mailed from, was still being maintained by her husband, G.P.
Putnam, with Amelia's secretary, Margot DeCarrie, keeping hours there. That is not to say either one of them wrote or mailed
the unclaimed letter; if they did they never mentioned it. The letter may have been sent by a resident hotel neighbor who
had known Amelia, and it may not have been the first and only letter mailed to Amelia at Maloelap--where the tone of the address seemed
personal and familiar.
"Dear Mr. President..."
Over the years, countless
letters have been written to the Oval Office requesting information about Amelia Earhart's true fate, only to receive placating,
'no information here' replies. One thing is certain, however, as notated directly below, from early on the White House did
withhold pertinent information it was aware of that concerned the true fate of Amelia Earhart.
Above: President Franklin D. Roosevelt with long-time
family friend and his administration's Secretary of the Treasury, Henry P. Morgenthau, Jr.
hope I've just got to never make it public." "Amelia Earhart disregarded orders."
Quotes from an official White House transcript recorded nine months after Amelia Earhart went missing. The comments
were made by FDR right hand man, Henry P. Morgenthau Jr., in response to a request forwarded his way by Eleanor Roosevelt--pertaining
to what actually happened to her missing friend, Amelia.
The White House had incorrectly ascertained that after Amelia disregarded orders by choosing to head north toward
Japan's Marshall Islands, and that she and her navigator died when they were shot down after they entered Japan's air space.
FDR's administration later learned the duo had actually survived after ditching at Mili Atoll, and Japan had quietly sequestered
them, except the U.S. was powerless to do anything about it as World War Two heated up. Directly below are excerpts from the
official White House transcript referred to above, dated May 13, 1938, nine months after Amelia Earhart was declared a missing
person. Henry Morgenthau Jr. is identified as "H.M.Jr." in the transcript when he speaks; Assistant Secretary of
the Treasury, Stephen Gibbons is identified as "Gibbons" when he speaks. Together, both men had travelled the great
distance from Washington DC to Hawaii just three weeks after Amelia went missing. There, they personally interviewed and debriefed
Comander Thompson of the Coast Guard Cutter, Itasca, that had awaited Amelia at Howland Island; participated in the search
for her after she never showed up there; and later filed a report on the last radio messages it received from Amelia and its
follow up search efforts:
The Itasca report, that eventually was released in July of 1938, had carefully been edited to
eliminate the 'damaging to Amelia's reputation' material it contained. It was also altered a bit to leave the final direction
Amelia ended up flying in unrevealed to future readers. What later became known through FOIA released files, was that Amelia
had stated her final decision to stay on a northern heading, in an effort to head back to the Gilbert Islands.
The "any reputation she's got is gone" comment of Morgenthau's, had less to do with her "disobeying
all orders" as it did with Amelia's known habit of swearing over the radio. As a plane mechanic by the name of Art Kennedy who knew Amelia recalled, she was
known to "mix in a lexicon of vulgarities" over the radio to control towers if she disapproved with the instructions
or commands being given to her. In that respect, Amelia further showed how she was just 'one of the boys' when she hung around
airfields and plane hangars.
It is certain
that FDR's administration had learned through U.S. Naval intelligence that Amelia ditched in the Marshalls after missing the
Gilberts. Other conveyances left it aware that Amelia did not die as a result of being shot down by Japan either. Yet Japan
had not allowed the U.S. to search the Marshall Islands for Amelia or her plane wreckage, and after subsequent weeks of silence,
the White House either assumed, or chose to publicly exhibit its own feeling that Amelia likely died in some non-specified
manner that was directly related to the premature ending of her world flight attempt.
Rather than confuse the public about it, though, FDR's administration chose to sit on what it had gleaned about
Amelia's world flight outcome, that in time included Amelia's continued existence in Japan's care. Basically, FDR's administration
remained quiet while hoping a viable solution or 'rescue plan' might present itself as time passed.
The solution did not arrive until the end of the war, when it was determined the still living, Amelia Earhart,
would change her identity in order to enable the U.S. Federal Government, in tandem with Japan's post-war cooperation under
the watchful eye of General Douglas MacArthur, the ability to permanently move-on from the notion of the U.S. or Japan
ever having to publicly acknowledge the truthful aftermath that pertained to Amelia's 1937 'failed' world flight outcome.
Earhart was a recognized pacifist before she went missing.
Her male counterpart, Charles Lindbergh,
had been an outspoken isolationist leading up to World War Two as well, and he fell out of favor of President Franklin Roosevelt's
administration that way. Later, from the 1950s to the 1970s, while serving his country under the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson,
and Nixon administrations, Lindbergh led a double life in Europe using the alias of, 'Careu Kent.'
Beyond being a pacifist, Amelia Earhart was a very smart person who was known to stubbornly hold her ground if
she deemed it necessary... and she eventually paid a price for having those character attributes.
Yet through it all, she continued to quietly exist on her own terms for many years after she was declared 'a
missing person.' At the same time, she fully recognized that the person she used to be, Amelia Earhart, had been declared
'dead in absentia' in January of 1939, a declaration that was never to change.
FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, shown above, personally commandeered the World War Two FBI files on Amelia Earhart. Throughout
the war, reports of Amelia's continued survival overseas kept surfacing from U.S. military sources that were funneled directly
to Hoover, who kept them in his charge. The FBI's war-time file on Amelia Earhart was not released until after the FOIA, and
it was only partially done so with names and places blacked out. Below is a sample page extracted from the file dated December
27, 1944. Note toward the bottom the quoted statement of a Japanese intelligence officer about Amelia, "Don't worry about
her well being. She is perfectly all right." In the last paragraph find the quote of "various Japanese guards"
having "stated they had heard her (Earhart) over Japanese radio, others that they had seen her in Tokyo, and still others
that they had heard she was alive and in Tokyo." Add to this to Admiral Chester Nimitz admitting in 1965 that it was
quietly, "known and documented in Washington" that Amelia Earhart had been rescued by Japan. This information was
later corroborated by Monsignor James Francis Kelley, a well known priest who in the late 1980s and early 1990s confided to
various individuals that his later life friend, Irene, was actually the former Amelia Earhart--with a different name applied
to her person after World War Two. (See photos of Monsignor Kelley underneath the document and read more about him throughout
The Swindell Study.)
Below find separate
photographs featuring Monsignor Kelley with J. Edgar Hoover and Admiral Nimitz:
Standing left to right; J. Edgar Hoover, Monsignor Kelley, and Archbishop
Thomas Walsh. In November of 1945, Monsignor Kelley received a citation from J. Edgar Hoover for assistance rendered during
the war years to the Internal Security of the Nation through the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States Department
of Justice. In the late 1980s, Monsignor Kelley began disclosing to people that he helped Amelia Earhart with spiritual counseling
after the war, and that he had been instrumental with her name change to 'Irene.' Kelley died in 1996. He was called 'crazy'
by people who refused to believe what he said about his later life friend, Irene.
Left to right; Admiral Chester Nimitz, Monsignor Kelley, Senator Al Hawkes
Monsignor Kelley next to a bust of himself commissioned by the Smithsonian
"FDR's administration eventually left J. Edgar
Hoover's fingerprints all over Amelia Earhart's private survival and her later name-change to Irene." Joseph
hidden world flight outcome resulted in the most absurdly fake accounts ever compiled--that somehow ended up being presented
as 'newsworthy' information. The old Nikumaroro bones' story merely exists as one of them." Tod
Senator Hiram Bingham and Amelia Earhart
Amelia and the post-WWII only Irene Craigmile (Bolam).
Recognizing the plurality
of Amelia Earhart's 1930s acquaintance, Irene Craigmile, is the key to understanding what was learned about Amelia
in the 1960s.
Once again, the above September 1, 1932 Akron, Ohio newspaper
photo features Amelia Earhart (outlined in white) and the original Irene Craigmile, (outlined in black)
was not yet a licensed pilot.
photo was taken just a few months after Amelia became the first woman to solo a plane across the Atlantic
Ocean, and just a week after she became the first woman to solo a plane coast-to-coast by flying from Los Angeles, California
to Newark, New Jersey.
As mentioned, in 1931, just a year before this
photo was taken the original Irene Craigmile's husband, Charles James Craigmile, had tragically died.
As it turned out there was more than
one person attributed to the same 'Irene Craigmile' identity, so... Will the real 'Irene Craigmile'
please stand up?
"One will not find a high-resolution photograph showing the original Irene Craigmile
as she looked in the 1920s and 1930s. They don't exist in the public realm anymore. 'Haven't for a long time." Tod
Above is a low-quality, 1932 photograph of the original Irene Craigmile. A past acquaintance of Amelia Earhart's,
she's shown next to a plane she was learning to fly in at the time.
losing her husband in 1931, more trying circumstances and the expense of flying planes left it a difficult hobby for her
to keep up with. For instance, when she finally earned her pilot's license in
May of 1933, she realized she was pregnant out of wedlock
and barely flew again after that. She eloped to wed her child-to-be's father
in August of 1933, but their marriage soon failed and was subsequently annulled. In fairly short order after that, their
son, who was born in early 1934, was being imprinted and further raised by a surrogate mother figure. (This is expounded
on further down.) As well, when the time came for it to be done after
1936, her pilot's license was not renewed .
An old newspaper article identified the person
above as the original Irene Craigmile in 1932.
In the top-left photo, the original Irene
Craigmile is shown in 1930, between her husband, Charles James Craigmile, and her father, Richard Joseph O'Crowley. Her soft
image is contrast enhanced underneath it. The above-right '1933' dated photo shows (L to R) Amelia climbing on the plane wing
with her back to the camera, the original Irene Craigmile's flight instructor, Al Heller, seated in the plane, (who
the original Irene became pregnant by and later eloped with) and the original Irene Craigmile standing with
Gentry, a common pilot friend of she and Amelia's.
In the photo below, the original Irene Craigmile holds her 1934 born son, Clarence 'Larry' Heller, who kept
the surname of his father.
Herein lies the problem identified by The Swindell
Study about Irene Craigmile, that intially surfaced some fifty-years ago (without visual aid) before it was shouted down:
For half-a-century the general public was persuaded by history itself to accept
that the Irene Craigmile shown above was the same Irene Craigmile as the one shown directly below--holding
a press conference at the Time-Life building in New York City in November of 1970.
This is a problem because the claim stating the Irene Craigmile below was the same Irene Craigmile as
the one above is now a recognizable fallacy.
the woman holding the press conference most definitely had been attributed to the same Irene Craigmile identity as the one
above, anymore it is clear she was a different human being.
was she, or who did she used to be? The 1997-2017 Swindell Study results enabled that question to answer itself.
Above is the post-World War Two only, Irene Craigmile
at her 1970 press conference. With no friends or family by
her side, she arrived alone at the conference and handled the press like a pro. She
tersely delivered a short statement, took no questions, and left. She held the conference because a new book
that caught her off guard was suggesting she was the somehow 'survived' Amelia Earhart living under an assumed identity. Beyond
the idea itself seeming preposterous to most people, her thorough negation was so well accepted no one felt a need to more
thoroughly look into her past.
The Swindell Study became the first to deeply examine the complete life story of the
original Irene Craigmile, that featured a brief 1930s friendship she had with Amelia Earhart, and a detailed story
of the post-war only Irene.
Directly below, the post-war only Irene's image from the press conference is again shown in perfect alignment
with her former self, Amelia Earhart.
Irene & Amelia
More Background Info on the original Irene Craigmile--and how Amelia Earhart
ended up using her left-over identity:
The Swindell Study
original Irene Craigmile never demonstrated a career ambition. The
1930 Census listed her as a 'homemaker' living in Pequannock, New Jersey with her husband, Charles, who at fourteen
years older than she was listed as 'head-of-house' and employed as a 'Civil Engineer.'
in 1904, the original Irene Craigmile had been an only child. When she was twelve her mother, Bessie O'Crowley,
died. From then on the original Irene was further raised by her paternal aunt and grandmother (her father's sister
and mother) in Newark, New Jersey.
The original Irene Craigmile's
paternal aunt, Irene Rutherford O'Crowley, was a recognized New York-New Jersey attorney who knew Amelia Earhart through the Zonta organization--and it was through her that the original
Irene Craigmile met Amelia, her idol, who was seven years older than she.
year after Charles James Craigmile died, at
the bequest of the original Irene's aunt, Amelia briefly took his young widow under her wing to help her become a
As mentioned, things didn't work out there
for very long.
the meantime, Amelia's famous life and career kept her on the move. She
endured a demanding pace of lecturing around the country and created her own, 'Amelia Earhart' brand that featured her self-designed
clothes along with a durable and stylish luggage line--sold at her own boutique in Macy's. The
original Irene Craigmile's attorney-aunt served as a contract adviser for Amelia within the endeavor.
Amelia had been a regular participant in women's air races and she briefly flew
a Pitcairn Autogyro as well--all while continuing to be a celebrated member of the 99s, the women's flying organization she co-founded
and served as the first president of, and of the Zonta organization for professional women,
with her popularity helping to expand both.
became the matriarchal figure of her small family as well, that included her aging mother, Amy Otis Earhart, and her married
sister, Muriel Earhart Morrissey with her two young children. She was quick with criticism and advice to both but would send
money their ways if it was needed--while tightly managing her own income sources with her manager-husband, G.P. Putnam.
Amelia was described by author Susan Butler as, "a person not about to cede control of her life
to anyone," and by author Doris Rich as, "a meticulous manager of her personal finances."
to leave out, Amelia spoke several languages.
line, Amelia Earhart was a very smart person. Few recall she had done well while taking pre-med courses at Columbia University
before she optioned to become a pilot.
She also made it clear she was not one who
could ever stay tied-down for very long.
1931, when she wed her manager, G.P. Putnam, she arrived at the alter with a prenuptial agreement that described marriage
as 'confining, no matter how attractive the cage' and included the edict, "I shall not hold you to any medieval
code of faithfulness to me nor should I consider myself bound to you similarly."
a marriage that way was practically unheard of then.
to her self-branding effort: In 1933--the year Amelia and Eleanor Roosevelt became friends--when her preference for 'quality control' waned and a 'lack of sales' during the depression became
evident to her, barely a year after it opened Amelia
decided to close her Macy's boutique.
in 1934, after a personal hiatus that involved a sinus procedure, a few summer weeks in the wilds of Wyoming, and a fire at
G.P. Putnam's Rye, New York homestead where she had off-times resided, Amelia decided to move from the east coast back to
Los Angeles that fall--where she had first learned to be a pilot.
and G.P. Putnam found a nice bungalow in North Hollywood's Toluca Lake district there, and by early 1935 their move was complete.
that point, G.P. Putnam strived to become a writer in the film industry while Amelia began spending a lot of time at the Lockheed
plant in Burbank.
returned to flying for major records as well then; in January of 1935, she became
the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to Oakland, California; in April, the first to fly solo from Los Angeles to Mexico
City, and in May, the first to fly solo from Mexico, City to New York, (actually Newark, New Jersey) once again accomplishing
the feats, so impressive at the time, in her reliable Lockheed Vega.
in late 1935, Amelia accepted an invitation to be a visiting instructor at Purdue University in Indianapolis, Indiana. While
she was in residence there in 1936, the institution awarded her a new, state of the art Lockheed Electra, a beautiful twin-tailed
monoplane dubbed, 'The Flying Laboratory.' In it, Amelia planned to circumnavigate the globe at the equator the following
year. Except while attempting to do so in mid-1937, something happened toward the end of her journey that was never clearly
accounted for, leaving Amelia to be declared "a missing person" along with her world flight navigator, Fred Noonan.
Although rumors swelled suggesting the two had been rescued
somewhere in Japan's Mandate Islands--and they had precariously ended up in Japan's private care during the onset of the Sino-Japanese War, within a year
and a half both fliers were legally declared, "dead in absentia."
Back To The original Irene Craigmile and Amelia
Amelia went missing, in time the original Irene Craigmile's sad, non-translucent demise ended up providing
a new, private-life beginning for the famous and quietly survived pilot, who after World War Two was known as 'Irene
Craigmile' ...until 1958, the year she married Guy Bolam of England.
she married Guy, it left her to be further known as, 'Mrs. Irene Craigmile Bolam.'
half a century the public was conditioned not to believe or accept the reality of it, yet below truly is the image of the
former Amelia Earhart as she looked in the mid-1970s,
while going by the name of Irene Craigmile Bolam:
A Sad Truth...
is a sad truth where people continue to be force-fed different stories about Amelia Earhart's world flight ending that have
absolutely nothing to do with reality. For decades now, the stupidly-false promotion of Amelia's flesh being torn apart by
giant crabs on the desert island of Nikumaroro has received more media attention than anything--even though there has never
been one iota of authenticity applied to it--and there never will be because it was never true. It is hard for myself and
others in the know not to be disheartened by the timid stalwarts at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic
Society--who turn blind eyes to tabloid level bs such as the 'giant crabs' story when it manages to permeate
American pop-culture. Their apathetic viewpoint grew to be more recognizable when the truth about Amelia Earhart's post-World
War Two existence with a different name became so obvious."
Tod Swindell, 2019
"You're onto something that will stagger your
above 1962 quote came from retired United States Navy Commander, John Pillsbury, concerning CBS Radio Journalist, Fred Goerner's
quest to learn the truth about what became of Amelia Earhart.
Fred Goerner joined in on researching Amelia's true fate after hearing about the "Operation
Earhart" investigation of Joseph A. Gervais. He solidly agreed with Gervais, that Amelia survived after she was declared
'missing' in 1937, but he could not precisely pinpoint where she eventually ended up and surmised she may have died of an
illness after living overseas for awhile.
like Joseph A. Gervais, though, by the 1990s Goerner's research and his best-selling 1966 book, The Search For Amelia Earhart
were barely recalled anymore. For Fred Goerner's work was shunned as well--for having gotten too
close to the fire of truth about Amelia Earhart.